The Lewisporte Novice Seahawks played in what many would call one of the best championships in J.P. Haliburton history on March 19-21. It was a final that went back and forth with the Seahawks coming up just shy in the end.
The J.P. Haliburton has been an annual novice tournament which has attracted many fans throughout its existence and is one of the premier tournaments that the Lewisporte Minor Hockey Association hosts every year. The tournament is named after the late John Haliburton who was instrumental in building the Minor Hockey Association to what it is today.
Making the trip for this year's annual tournament were Bay d'Espoir, Bishop's Falls, Fogo, Botwood and Twillingate.
The host Seahawks kicked off the tourney with a 11-1 win against Fogo. Jacob Foss notched four goals in the contest while Daniel Pardy and Jayden Oake each added two helpers to seize the win for the Seahawks. The momentum continued in the next game as the Seahawks out-matched Bay d'Espoir 10-0. Jayden Simms led the way for the Seahawks in this game scoring two goals while Jesse Ryan, Brett Collins and Zander Baker also added a goal for the team. In the third game Cody Moyles got his second shutout of the tournament defeating Botwood 7-0. Erica Hurley, Jesse Ryan and Brett Collins each scored goals for the Seahawks in this game.
The last and final round robin match-up was against the equally undefeated Twillingate team. While this game was much closer, in the end, the Seahawks secured a shot in the gold medal match-up winning 7-3. Daniel Pardy and Jacob Foss each scored hattricks in the game.
The championship match-up was one for the ages as the undefeated Seahawks faced off against Bishop's Falls, another undefeated team. The Seahawks jumped out to an early led against Bishop's and it seemed they were well on their way to winning the J.P. Haliburton title, however, Bishop's fought back to tie the game at three going into the third period. Both teams exchanged goals before the Seahawks took a one goal lead with only two minutes remaining. Bishop's never gave up though and scored the tying goal with 54 seconds left and then crushed the Seahawks gold medal hopes by scoring the game winner with only 13 seconds left.
Novice Divison coordinator Lori Foss was impressed with the play of all teams.
"Overall the tournament went over extremely well, all the kids enjoyed it whether they lost or won, it didn't matter because they had fun," said Foss. "Personally I was very pleased with how it went, but it wouldn't have been as successful as it was if it wasn't for all those who helped make it possible. The parents of the Novice division were exceptional."
When asked about the championship game Foss said, "The championship game was intense to say the least - just as exciting as the Olympic gold medal game. I was so nervous for the team, and they played exceptional. A silver medal is something to be proud of as well. I know I can say on behalf of the coaching staff and parents that we are extremely proud of this Novice team."